Poll petitions: 50 out of 308 decided, says David Majanja

Thursday November 23 2017

David Majanja

Justice David Majanja. He says many petitions collapse under the weight of evidence. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By RUSHDIE OUDIA
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Courts have heard and determined 50 out of 308 election and party-list petitions.

Of the 50, a summary released on Wednesday shows 44 cases were dismissed by the High Court and magistrate courts.

188 IN 2013

Six cases— two against governors, three against MPs and one against a woman rep— were withdrawn from the High Court, according to the summary released by Justice David Majanja, vice chairman of the Judiciary Committee on Elections.

Party-list petitions are cases on legality of the nominees presented by political parties in various county assemblies across the country.

“Since the deadline of filing the election petitions on September 6, 23 petitions have been dismissed (by the High Court), none has been withdrawn in the magistrate courts," the report reads in part.

A total of 308 election cases were filed by dissatisfied candidates in various courts across the country after the declaration of results of the August 8 polls.

This was a 120-case rise compared to the 2013 General Election, where the judiciary handled 188 petitions.

Petitions involving governorship, senatorial, woman representative and MP seats are being heard in the High court while magistrate courts are handling MCA cases.

GOVERNORS

Governors facing court battles include Ali Hassan Joho (Mombasa), Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o (Kisumu) Gideon Mbuvi Sonko (Nairobi), Alfred Mutua (Machakos), Kiraitu Murungi (Meru), Joseph Ole Lenku (Kajiado)

Others are Ndiritu Muriithi (Laikipia), Cornel Rasanga (Siaya), Sospeter Ojaamong (Busia), Cyprian Awiti (Homa Bay), Amason Kingi (Kilifi) and Salim Mvurya (Kwale).

Cases that were dismissed include that filed by Narc-Kenya Party leader Martha Karua against Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru.

The dismissed petitions include three against governors, 11 against members of the National Assembly, two against senators, three against woman representatives and 17 against ward reps.

For the party lists, the High Court has thrown out two petitions while magistrate courts have dismissed six.

Justice Majanja said their target was to hear and determine the cases by end of December.

BY-ELECTIONS

In his court, the judge dismissed a case filed by Mrs Florence Aluodo, who was contesting the election of Dr Christine Ombaka as Siaya woman rep.

This was after Mrs Aluodo failed to serve the respondents correctly.

Judge Majanja also recently dismissed a petition by Mrs Emily Nyabuto against Vihiga MP Ernest Kivai after the petitioner failed to attend court.

In 2013, the judiciary handled 188 out of the expected 500 election petitions.

of these, only 25 were found to have merit and by-elections ordered by the courts.

Out of the 25, only two— in Kisii and Nyaribari Chache— saw those who were declared winners lose their seats.

Justice Majanja attributed the high failure rate of petitions to petitioners’ inability to give evidence of their claims.